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My job brought me to London for a month. It is now two weeks I am here, living by a very nice family near Westham (how many cries and sobs did I hear, right this afternoon...), I have to work in Stratford and I try to go in the center of London as often as possible, to make the most of all the things to see there.
So I travel by train. So I spend a lot of money.
London underground is organised in zones. It's a very usual thing with underground networks (just notice how professionnal I sound, stating that, whereas I indeed know only two underground networks, the londonian and the parisian ones). The very center of the city is zone 1, and the more you go far from it, the more the number of the zone you're in is important. I think there is 6 zones for the underground network (and even more for the DLR network).
The price you pay depends on the zone you're living in (or at least depends on your habitual departure point) and the zone you're going to. I am living in zone 4 and am working in the same area. The first days, I thought I could pay my travels day by day, going in zone 1 only occasionnally. But I soon have paid 20£ and I hadn't had the feeling of making unecessary travels. So I choosed a 7 day ticket, realizing it is very difficult not to spend plenty of money on the transport network...
Those season tickets are available for 7 days or for a month. Four seven days season tickets or one month ticket will cost almost the same, so you'd better begin with a seven days if you're not sure the zones fit you well. Because your interest is to try to buy the season ticket corresponding the best to your needs : tickets could be available just for two zones or for the six, and the more zones there is, the more you bank. For my part, I pay 30£ a week to travel between zone 1 and 4.
I use the Oyster car, that kind of so fashion blue card you have to pass before an optical eye each time you go in and each time you go out of a station. The Oyster card is also at work in buses or on the DLR network and the system is made to help you gain time because you just have to put money on it and the cost of your travels is automatically substracted. It is also said to help you win money by allowing lower travel costs, but it's not quite blatant.
So, at the end of my month, I'd probably have spend more than 140£ in London's transports, that is to say more than what I spend in Bordeaux during a whole year.
But if I hadn't, it would have be very hard to travel in London, for the underground network is surely the more convenient way to travel in that city.
Enven the stations in themselves are convenient : all the indications are clear and you can reach your platform easily even when you're not accustomed to London. And it is the same for the entire network : deciding of your way, changing lines or finding where you have to go is very simple, much more simple than in Paris for example. Within two lines, you can always reach the finest places of the city, thanks to the way the lines are crossing. Looking at a plan of the network helps understand how easy it is to travel that way : the city is kind of squared by the lines, you just have to know which line is yours and if you go east or west (sometimes north or south)...
And I have no regret for eventually I saw the famous blue circle with the red rectangle crossing it, and I heard every morning that soft feminine voice ordering me to mind the gap, so it was worth the price after all !
Status: New - All eleven lines of London's Underground network feature in this brand new ... more
2015 edition. Fully revised, updated and completely rewritten. The sub surface lines of: Circle (yellow); District (green); Hammersmith & City (pink) and Metropolitan (maroon), along with the deep level tube lines of: Bakerloo (brown); Central (red); Jubilee (grey); Northern (black); Piccadilly (dark blue); Victoria (light blue) and Waterloo & City (turquoise) are given individual sections. This pocket-sized handbook provides a useful all-in-one guide to the London Underground as we know it today. As well as maps and a brief history, each line is featured in detail, with service and operating details and a fleet list of the trains used. There's a feature on works trains as well as preserved stock and museum stock. 128 pages 74 high-quality colour images Pocket-sized (A6 size) Hard-backed and printed on glossy paper Written by Jason Cross
Status: New - Compared with the main line railways of Britain, the London Underground ... more
receives the least attention from those who have an interest in railways. Maybe this is due to the fact that multiple unit trains dominate the system, and locomotive action is rare (though certainly not non-existent), or maybe it is just because the London Underground does what it does best day in, day out, and is very much taken for granted. To mark the 150th anniversary of the underground, this 80-page pictorial book looks at the system as it is today and from the past few years with old trains being replaced, new trains being introduced, the lines and the stations. All this is presented in full colour, mostly in a one image per page format. From city landscapes to narrow tunnels, all the underground and surface lines are featured along with every type of unit currently in operation. While the captions contain many historical and technical facts, it is not the intention of this book to be a complete history or technical book. Printed on glossy art paper, hardback, landscape format, 80 pages.